Unnatural death of children rose by a shocking 37.66%, according to a report
Violence against children shot up by 18.75% in Bangladesh in 2018, leading to the premature death of more than 2,000 children, according to a children’s right advocacy group.
Bangladesh Shishu Adhikar Forum (BSAF) prepared a report based on news media reports on violence against children throughout last year, which was unveiled at an event titled “Launching Data on State of Child Rights in Bangladesh 2018,” at the Dhaka Reporters’ Unity (DRU) on Wednesday.
BSAF Director Abdus Shahid Mahmood read out the keynote paper, while while its chairperson Dr Khawaja Shamsul Huda presided over the program.
According to the report, a total of 4,566 children were subjected to different types of violence in 2018 – 721 more than in 2017.
Analyzing the news reports, the BSAF found that 57 different kinds of violent acts had been committed against children last year.
Unnatural death of children increased by a shocking 37.66% in 2018 – 2,354 children were killed by violence, compared to 1,710 in 2017.
At least 139 children were reported to have been beaten last year – more than double the number of 2017, which was 66. Of them, six were beaten to death, whereas around 812 children were subjected to sexual abuse and exploitation in 2018 – a decline from 894 in 2017.
The number of child abduction also increased by nearly 31.64% – 570 in 2018 from 2017’s 433.
A further 172 children were found to be under the threat of child marriage, while 38 were victims of it.
Accidents involving children also increased by an alarming rate of 71.43% – 396 children were injured in different incidents in 2018, while the number was 231 in 2017. Of them, 90 children were injured in road accidents, 94 were victims of murder attempts, 51 were in fire incidents, 40 were struck by lightning, and 114 were injured in different other accidents.
Speaking at the program, National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) Chairman Kazi Reazul Hoque said there was a lack of institutional effort in Bangladesh to protect children’s rights.
“The overall state of children’s rights is unfortunate. Formulating the Children Act 2013 was a great initiative, but the rules that are prerequisite for the implementation of a law have yet to be enacted,” he added.
“To protect children’s rights, we have long been demanding for a children’s directorate and the Child Rights Commission to be established, so every incident of violence against children can come to light and be properly dealt with,” the NHRC chief further said.
Sharmeela Rassool, chief technical adviser at the UNDP’s Human Rights Program who also attended the event, said the culture of impunity must be abolished, and preventive measures must be adopted to curb violence against children in Bangladesh.